While Shipwreck gets a lot of attention as the Joe team’s resident sailor, Topside seems relegated to being a bit player. It’s a shame that he’s not more well-known because he’s a colorful alternative to Shipwreck’s iconic, yet stereotypical, sailor look. He’s one of my favorite Joes from 1990, even though I’m not a big fan of the naval characters.
Bright colors are always welcome for me, and here don’t seem out of place. After all, the orange vest and blue and grey are sensible naval colors. The unique accessory trend of the 1990 figures is evident, with a new type of helmet and machine gun, as well as a backpack that doubles as a missile launcher. Sure it’s a bit ridiculous, but is not overly large and makes for a nice secondary weapon.
The nondescript look makes for great custom potential. I have a few extras that I plan to use as parts donors for some nameless USS Flagg deckhands. You can never have enough troops hanging out on deck, and if they’re all wearing life vests, so much the better. Gotta think safety.
Topside made an appearance in a couple of DIC episodes, notably the supremely goofy (go figure) Officer and a Viperman episode, in which Topside, Pathfinder and Ambush infiltrate Cobra as new recruits. The episode particularly cracked me up when Cobra’s Rock Viper trainer showed up wearing a drill instructor hat over his usual headgear.
On thing that bugs me about Topside is his lack of the usual black or brown painted eyes and eyebrows. It makes for a creepy look.